Dopamine provides the passion and zest for life that keeps us going, providing us with joy and happiness. It has been found to be extremely important in the areas of motivation, behavior, focus, mood, energy, and productivity.
Unfortunately, today’s society promotes lifestyle habits and diet that have been connected with a significant decrease in dopamine levels. Combining that with the impact that illness and disease can have on the body, the impact of low dopamine can leave you feeling unfocused, lethargic, unmotivated and even depressed.
Common signs of dopamine deficiency include:
- Sleep problems
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Memory loss
- Engaging in self-destructive behaviors, especially addictions
- Inability to concentrate
- Low libido
- Inability to complete tasks
- Inability to connect with others
Here are 11 ways you can increase the dopamine levels in your brain without medication:
- Listen to Music: Music has long been recognized for its ability to improve our mood, motivate us and lift us out of a ‘funk,’ but why does this work? This is due to the fact that listening to our favorite tunes has actually been found to increase the body’s dopamine levels, effectively making us feel a boost of happiness, both making the day more enjoyable and boosting productivity!
- Create Something: When an artist is acting in a creative manner, whether it is writing, painting, singing or dancing, among other activities, they often enter into a ‘creative zone.’ This is accomplished by due to an increase in dopamine. Thus, if you try taking up a creative hobby or activity you can effectively increase your body’s dopamine level.
- Increase Tyrosine: Tyrosine is an amino acid, and is referred to as the ‘building block of dopamine.’ For this reason, you need to ensure that you have a high enough tyrosine level to support an increase in dopamine. Good sources of tyrosine include chocolate, coffee, bananas, watermelon, avocados, green tea, yogurt, chicken, beef, eggs, and almonds.
- Meditate: With the high pace society we live in, it is no wonder that many of us fall victim to overthinking, a habit that can leave us confused and ‘lost.’ Overthinking has also been found to have a negative impact on our spiritual development. Meditation allows you to quiet these thoughts, clearing the mind to focus properly once again.
- Don’t Get Addicted: Often those that engage in addictive behaviors do so due to the fact that they experience a sensation of instant gratification when they indulge in addictions such as drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, and shopping. While this may give you a ‘quick hit’ it isn’t a sustainable feeling of pleasure and can impact the body’s ability to regulate dopamine levels.
- Take Supplements: While we stated that this article is focused on boosting your dopamine levels without the use of medication, there are a number of all natural supplements that can work in your favor. This includes curcumin (found in turmeric), acetyl-l-tyrosine, l-theanine (found in green tea) and ginkgo biloba.
- Pleasurable Touch: Experts state that dopamine can actually be improved through pleasurable touch. This doesn’t just mean through sex (although that is definitely an option) but even something as simple as petting or cuddling a dog can provide you with a boost!
- Exercise: Exercise not only makes us feel better by optimizing our physical health, but it works to increase the levels of several neurotransmitters including endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. You don’t need to engage in an overly intense workout to receive these benefits either! Even something as simple as going for a walk can bring a boost to the body.
- Toxic Cleansing: While toxins in the body are known for having an impact on our physical well-being, there is far less discussion about the fact they also have a significant impact on our mental health! You can help to cleanse your body of endotoxins by getting plenty of sleep, and eating healthy fermented foods in place of sugary or fatty foods.
- Checklist Small Tasks: When we are able to complete a task, we experience a feeling of accomplishment which triggers an increase in dopamine levels. This is even more satisfying when we are able to physically celebrate this completion by checking something off on a to-do list. Creating and checking off lists can actually help you to feel happier!
- Get a Streak Going: When you experience a streak, it provides you with a visual of just how much you are achieving, providing you with a similar sense of accomplishment as that provided by using a checklist. To receive the full impact, write your streak down. For example, if you are working out mark each day on a calendar so that you can see your streak continuing to grow which will, in turn, continue to boost your dopamine levels.